Childhood Body Weight in Relation to Morbidity From Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer in Older Adulthood: 67-Year Follow-up of Participants in the 1947 Scottish Mental Survey

Although it has been well documented that elevated body weight in middle- and older-aged populations is associated with multiple morbidities, the influence of childhood body weight on health endpoints other than coronary heart disease is not well understood.

Accordingly, using a subsample of 4,620 participants (2,288 women) from the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947, we examined the association between body mass index measured at 11 years of age and future risk of 9 independent health endpoints as ascertained from national hospital admissions and cancer registers until 2014 (up to age 77 years). Although there was some evidence of a relationship between elevated childhood body mass index and higher rates of peripheral vascular disease (per each 1-standard deviation increase in body mass index, hazard ratio = 1. 21, 95% confidence interval: 1. 07, 1. 37) and smoking-related cancers (per each 1-standard deviation increase in body mass index, hazard ratio = 1. 09, 95% confidence interval: 1. 01, 1. 17), there was no apparent association with coronary heart disease, stroke (including ischemic stroke), heart failure, or carcinomas of the colorectum, stomach, lung, prostate, or breast. In conclusion, a relationship between childhood body weight and later morbidity was largely lacking in the present study.

American journal of epidemiology. 2015 Oct 06 [Epub ahead of print]

G David Batty, Catherine M Calvin, Caroline E Brett, Iva Čukić, Ian J Deary